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Deputies: Father punches man who tried to take his 3-year-old daughter

Yonel Hernandez Velasco was booked on charges of kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon, and attempted kidnapping. He remains in custody and his bail is set at $1.2 million. (Courtesy: Placer County Sheriff's Office)

A man who grabbed a 3-year-old girl at a Northern California park was arrested after the girl's father punched him, the Placer County Sheriff's Office says.

It happened Saturday around 7:00 p.m. at North Auburn's Regional Park in Placer County.

According to deputies, 26-year-old Yonel Hernandez Velasco had been in the park acting strangely. A group of boys playing basketball told deputies that Hernandez Velasco asked them twice if he could buy their basketball, and Hernandez Velasco told them he could handcuff one of them and drag them into the pond. Hernandez Velasco then showed them a set of handcuffs, deputies say.

Deputies say after the boys told him to go away, Hernandez Velasco wandered up to a 3-year-old girl who was in the park with her family.

Hernandez Velasco took the girl's hand and started skipping through the grass, deputies say.

Deputies say the girl's mother and boyfriend were with their dog nearby and yelled for the man to stop. The boyfriend confronted Hernandez Velasco and told him to let go of the girl, which Hernandez Velasco did.

As Hernandez Velasco began acting aggressively toward the boyfriend, deputies say the girl's father ran up from a nearby apartment.

Deputies say when the father asked Hernandez Velasco what he was doing, Hernandez Velasco pulled the handcuffs from his pocket and wrapped them around his hand like brass knuckles.

Deputies say Hernandez Velasco then charged toward the father, who punched him in the face.

Hernandez Velasco then charged at the father again, and was punched in the face a second time, deputies say.

Deputies say Hernandez Velasco then fell to the ground and remained on the ground until deputies and medical aid arrived.

Hernandez Velasco was transported to the hospital for medical clearance and then taken to the Auburn Jail. Deputies say a blood sample was drawn to determine if the suspect was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Hernandez Velasco was booked on charges of kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon, and attempted kidnapping. He remains in custody and his bail is set at $1.2 million.

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